Thursday, 9 September 2021
It hasn't happened for quite a while now. I might almost have thought of it as a figment of a former life- something of the past. Clearly not!
Just the other day I got into an argument! Or was it more of a 'disagreement?' Either way, voices were raised!
I doubt that it played out quite as I would have hoped yet this much I know, my side of the argument was easily the better informed. There were those moments when I was faced with either biting my tongue or else taking up the challenge and I've never really been one for a great deal of tongue biting. Still, how is one supposed to argue the point with someone who it appears has never bothered to properly identify and locate that same point in the first place?
There was red wine of the Malbec variety, food and an element of reminiscence, not of the film variety. The rain held off, affording others the chance to weave their ponderous pathways through the gardens.
Perhaps reflecting more the red wine, I cannot now recall exactly what it was that sparked the exchange. Likely it was something quite innocuous, something hidden within the broader topics of conversation. Definitely adding fuel to the embers there were years of simmering containment, scores of unspoken thoughts.
As already stated, the precise moment when the strained, polite (my take) conversation undertook its metamorphosis is now lost to memory. It really matters not because this is not the purpose of this posting... although, as ever, the two are closer than distant cousins. So, broadly speaking, the theme is really more about individual personal responsibilities in the context of a planet in crisis, a light topic, or so one might have been forgiven for thinking if one had happened to spy the vacuous receptacle, the impenetrable smirk, that was my opponent's face. Maybe it was the look of incomprehension? Suffice to report, and no further, that he (of course it was!) had/has pretty much given up upon the planet, except for those dwindling resources that he clearly intended/intends to continue to burn, consume, dispose of, or otherwise exploit to the full, as if current neoliberal governments hadn't already fully torched that corpse!
So, in looking pleadingly to an uncertain future... I offer an aspirational and long-overdue, manifesto for a possible future.
It should be understood that (some) economists cannot continue to pretend that the neoliberal nightmare has ever been sustainable. The UK must take up reins that have for far too long remained unmanned (unwomanned), regardless of the actions of other governments:
* so, full throttle into a new and a progressive green economy- all the while hoping it's not too late
* fully funded switch to alternative green energy- sever all reliance upon fossil fuels within the next five/nine years
* national (and all company) projections of economic growth to be discontinued and replaced with ecological sustainability projections
* fossil fuel corporations (including lobbyists) removed from 'all' parliamentary decision making
* all natural environments (including those reclaimed [rewilding] as such) to be fully protected from future 'development' and 'developers'
* all UK waters to be protected from overfishing and from the depletion of habitat caused through any ongoing over-zealous fishing practices
* all natural fish species to be protected from overfishing thus, and through necessity, shrinking the current fishing industry
* where industries are necessarily adversely affected by UK's ecological switch widescale retraining and relocation programs, such that communities are not to be abandoned as with previous generations
* commitment to rejoining the EU at soonest opportunity- commitment to wholesale changes in the EU, away from neoliberal economy, towards sustainability without economic growth, ultimately towards economic reductions
* a national debate upon the means to successfully shrink the economy
* shareholder dividends to be dependent upon a company's commitments to its workforce, environmental and ecological concerns, to be independently verified
* commitment to 'unhooking' UK companies from economic comparison measures such as the stock exchange in its current form
* a new raft of progressive income tax bands to be implemented at the soonest opportunity
* fix the 'upper income' glitch to the current National Insurance system
* revamped (progressive) banded National Insurance to be increased, adjusted to reflect a commitment towards combating economic inequality, to (averaging) 1% increase at the lower threshold- to be further reviewed via open national debate within 5 years
* introduce a Wealth Tax whereby future national expectation becomes, 'assets (wealth) to be taxed ahead of income' - suggested 1% tax on millionaires
* increased corporation tax to 40%, in line with former UK commitments
* educate the nation's populace upon the countless benefits of a (justly/fairly administered) high tax society
* the triple-lock on state pensions to be immediately reinstated and retained for future generations
* VAT to exclude most/all essential items sought/needed by lower paid citizens in order to attain reasonable standards of living, alcohol at 20% as at present, 'luxury' items taxed at 40%, wholesale revamp of the tax 'bands'
* debate upon the means to most efficiently tackling and stamping out the use of off-shore tax havens (most of these are anyway British dependencies)
* thorough appraisal of all UK 'taxes,' with aim of necessary modifications, to ensure that all will in future operate progressively
The environment is the only one we have! It must be recognised that the continued burning of fossil fuels is known, and universally accepted, to be threatening this global environment and consequently driving racing depletion of many vital habitats around our planet. In an interconnected world a lost habitat in any continent is a loss to every continent:
* retail to phase out 'all' plastic use within ten years- notable exceptions might include provisions for the NHS- regularly reviewed via open national debate, all current treatments/procedures to be safeguarded
* an urgent international means sought, upon methods of 'collecting' the 'continental' rafts of plastic waste that are blighting our oceans and poisoning our planet
* national search for alternative to current 'landfill' approach to waste- export of the UK's waste to poorer nations to cease with immediate effect
* UK's recycling program to be fully updated and funded, publicly operated, modernised- prohibitive measures to be employed in order to ensure that retail hastens to comply with nation's recycling program/aims
* bottle returns program to be universally rolled out with immediate effect
* 'all' use of fossil fuels in provision of transport to be phased out within the next five/nine years
* absolutely no 'new' fossil fuel fields or mines to be opened (or current ones to be extended)
* all currently operational fossil fuel mines/fields to be phased out within five years- affected communities to be properly safeguarded (not abandoned as previously)
* all political funding via fossil fuel companies to cease with immediate effect
* all rivers to be pollution free within one year- enforced via fully publicly funded Environment Agency
* tightening of all environmental controls at all sewage works, enforceable through prohibitive sanctions via a publicly funded Environment Agency
* clean air act universal rollout- enforced via fully publicly funded Environment Agency
* all farm soils to be toxin free within one/two/three years- enforced via fully publicly funded Environment Agency
* pesticide use to be universally phased out within one/two years
* import of palm oils to be phased out over two years, investigate means to reclaim lands lost to palm oil plantations, on behalf of the former populations (peoples and creatures)
* single use plastics phased out within one/two years- with few notable exceptions (ie. NHS)
* creation of a national furniture recycling program- to operate 'alongside' council tips, whereby no viable furniture to be disposed of, instead recycled into the local communities at minimal cost (under remit of local councils)
* built in obsolescence identified (notably within the IT industry) and eliminated- the right/means to repair rolled out across the industry
* a recognition that undue/excessive lighting also acts as a form of pollution (more so to nature), in addition to also being yet another energy consumer- all public lighting to be considered in this context and discontinued where deemed unnecessary
A parliament that has permitted dishonesty to flourish on such a scale is not fit for purpose. The UK should aim to create a country in which the vast majority of its citizens engages with its parliament, understands how it operates and values its honesty:
* parliament to operate 'entirely' free from lobbyists, although not free from welcomed expertise
* fullest sanctions brought in immediately for cases of proven lying in/to parliament
* inquiry into quickest means to abolish the House of Lords- possibly to be replaced with democratic second House- removing a serious obstacle (ie. an ex cricketer with a penchant for killing rare species) to achieving an 'aspiring towards democratic' status
* the current honours system is recognised as a serious hurdle to democratic due process- if an honours system is to survive it must be given a thorough overhaul in order to ensure that the current dangerous chumocracy is not permitted to perpetuate. All such former appointees should be openly debated and removed at the soonest opportunity. Any future honours not to include elevations to any second House
* public register of all foreign lobbyists working in the UK
* prohibitive financial and other sanctions for governments who misrepresent commitments via party election manifestos- not to be financially redeemable via the public purse
* all political manifestos (viably electable) to be independently costed
* an urgent rebuild of the Labour Party, from the membership upwards, to be safeguarded from any future top (National Executive Committee) down effective 'coup' arrangements- to restore the vital missing element required within an aspiring-democracy
* independent inquiry into certain 'influencers' who have operated inside (and against) the true Labour Party
The nation's MSM needs to be an honest one that operates in the interests of its citizens and is not beholden to hidden corporate interests. Journalists should be unbound by editorial restraints. Without honest reporting of current events how can an aspiring democracy be expected to progress? Those consistently found to be in breach of these basic expectations should be curtailed or, in the eventuality of repeated offences, closed down!:
* editorial independence of all MSM journalists, that they should remain unbeholden to corporate interests and/or their editors
* a fully resourced (how?) and 'independent' MSM, in order to protect the truth from corporate and other disingenuous interests
* re-adoption of formerly applied codes of reporting at all national news outlets (ie at least two supporting independent sources cited)- retweeting misinformation and then deleting it is not journalism, instead it is pandering to/feeding a corporate MSM who already has an agreed agenda
* a journalist's full legal protection, and that of their source, in cases of news leaks that are clearly in the national interest
* IPSO recognised as unfit for purpose, to be terminated with immediate effect
* new press and media regulation body fully independently resourced and given greater powers to impose prohibitive sanctions, proportionate to an outlet's funds
* it should be universally understood/publicly-registered where political 'gatekeepers' (ie. Matthew Pariss, [also formerly] Andrew Neil, Gyles Brandreth) operate in the MSM guise of unaligned presenters (register of political activities), and are thus able to maintain the not so subtle slant away from honest/balanced dispersal of information/news
* highly/regularly publicised register of all media transgressions, notably within MSM (ie: Sun, Express, Mail, Jewish Chronicle and other frequent transgressors) such that the general public are to be(come) reliably and properly informed
* a fully publicly funded BBC
* a guarantee that Channel 4 remain in public hands
* General Election 'claims' to be openly and independently fact checked, transgressions made fully public (rectified) at the soonest opportunity
. home fixtures of all national sports events to be available on free to air TV and radio stations
* no gaming sites to be advertised during any televised sports events
* a new raft of sanctions to tackle misinformation shared upon all social media sites, with the ultimate sanction of closing down sites- to be independently funded and policed
It should be a celebrated expectation that those appointed to all public roles will operate always in the wider interests of those they are required to 'serve.' Where this can be proven not to be the case measures should be put in place to ensure that those individuals can be removed with immediate effect. The Royal Estate is currently an immense/expensive untapped national resource, the nation should view all such resources with an eye to the future betterment of all of its citizens:
* termination of 'all' politicised appointments currently in public roles (BBC, Channel 4, police commissioner, education, NHS, utilities), where appointment deemed to be not in best interests of the general public or the institution in its role of public provider
* Prince Andrew to stand trial on charges of sexual abuse of a monor, as required of international law, further charges to be investigated and pursued where appropriate
* national protection measures from politicised actions 'deemed' not to be in the wider public interest- with public consultation where appropriate- for education, NHS, public transport, housing, police force, utilities, military
* a full and open national consultation on the true value/costs to the nation, of the British Royal Family
* fully dependent upon the above, plans drawn up on the public acquisition of all lands and properties currently in the Royal Estate
* art galleries to safeguard 'all' the nation's artworks from wealthy/Sotherby's acquisition and thus potential loss to the nation/world- where possible 'lost' artworks to be brought back into the public realm
* overdue open debate to be had, on the continued 'ownership' of Britain's museums' colonial acquisitions and artefacts
* target of making all of Britain's galleries and museums free to the general public within five years
* further powers to councils to best operate with authority in the best interests of local people- decentralise
* funding to councils to best reflect the requirements of individual councils- more funding for the less affluent- shared authority with central government
The NHS is still the envy of much of the globe, despite many years of covert attack from disingenuous sources. It should be recognised that the vast majority of the UK population remains heavily dependent upon the NHS's continued existence. All those former services that have since been 'allowed' to fall outside of its umbrella of protection should be reclaimed at the soonest opportunity:
* a fully publicly funded NHS to cover all requirements/procedures deemed necessary/viable via independent inquiry (reviewed biannually)
* dentistry to be brought back fully under NHS provision, range of treatments made free at source
* proper full public funding for provision of all mental wellbeing services, goal of seriously getting to grips with a spiralling national mental health crisis
* all PFI in the NHS to be phased out within one/two years
* a highly-publicised register of all ministers who have operated in parliament, or outside, as lobbyists (ie. Owen Smith, Sajid Javid [Health Secretary], Priti Patel) for private healthcare providers- a guarantee that such individuals not be involved in any consultation regarding the NHS
* the nation's social care to be brought 'in house,' thus ensuring that those who work in the sector are properly remunerated and that private equity is not permitted to siphon off much needed funds
* UNISON's 'demand' of an immediate £2,000 uplift for all NHS workers to be fully met, urgent review of system for proper future funding of all staff- recognition that surreal nationwide images of PM and Health secretary etc banging pans do not reflect the nation's feelings/gratitude/debt
It should be acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic has been further fuelled, amongst other factors, care (also) of the continued international travel of many individuals from more affluent countries. Also, that the vaccine rollout has inhumanly favoured those same affluent countries. This pandemic will continue to reap a greater number of lives from poorer nations until vaccine rollout properly reflects the international nature of the pandemic:
* waiver of all Covid-19 vaccine copyrights wherever possible
* urgent debate on the best/most direct means to a termination of unilateral vaccine rollout program- replaced with commencement of a new multilateral vaccine rollout program
* all reasonable mitigating measures, such as the wearing of masks inside of most public spaces, to be reintroduced at the soonest opportunity
* a two-pronged national inquiry into the (real) handling of the pandemic- 1. handing out of contracts and funds, to whom? 2. recognising the true number of pandemic deaths- where deaths, especially in care homes, could reasonably have been avoided?- current '28 day' subterfuge to be disposed of
It should be recognised that good education is a root/route to a (more) successful life, thus the best universal education system begets the best (whole) nation. There is an urgent need to re-establish the proper respect that is long overdue to those in the teaching profession, and to guard against a dishonourable MSM too often making them the scapegoat for the failings of others. Those who have studied and worked in the profession must be those best placed to define, better hone, and teach to an ever-evolving national curriculum:
* tax relief on all private education to end within one year
* Ofsted terminated and replaced with fully publicly funded unit charged with supporting provision of universal education to the nation's youth and beyond
. ultimate goal of 'all' education becoming publicly funded and 'free' to access
* essential within a wide curriculum, honesty must always be sought- students should celebrate also Britain's and its citizens' real gains, but also learn from historical mistakes and wrongs/crimes (including against humanity and other nations). If this is not done then how is the nation to properly own its past and build its future- issues/topics such as 'Britain's colonial past,' 'Britain's past role in the international slavery trade,' 'Britain's military overseas interventions,' 'Israel's oppression of Palestine,' should be embraced
* schools, universities and colleges should learn to 'look' at the UK's international military interventions objectively, instead of too often defaulting to unquestioning 'idolisation'- it is immoral and dishonest for the armed forces to 'recruit' from the nation's school children
* awkward questions should be encouraged, notably on historical, geographical and religious areas of study- teaching of, and around, the subject of British Empire requires serious modification to reflect also the international harms that have been wrought through British overseas rule
* students should be taught to engage in fierce/passionate debate whilst retaining respect in areas of genuine conflict
* universities strongly encouraged to discontinue adherance to the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, replaced, where a replacement sought, by the Jerusalem Declaration on Anti-Semitism- open and free debate upon the subject encouraged- funding absolutely not to be conditional
* reintroduction of further education grants
* independent inquiry into university education in its current format, in the context of reintroduction of further education grants
* where departments (notably science) are to be 'sponsored' by private interests the 'expectation' must always be that there will be no influence brought to bear
* Urgent and full de-marketisation of further education- seek immediate re-entry into the Erasmus (EU) Program
* immediate 10% pay award to teachers, begin process of restoring pay levels in both real and comparative terms
All life should be valued and respected, except where it unjustly impinges upon other lives:
* a human right to shelter, sustenance, healthcare, association, work and education
* homelessness universally addressed with an aim of full elimination within one/two years
* re-adoption/recognition of the European Court of Human Rights
* increased legal aid to be made available
* unemployment, disability and all other benefits to be independently assessed and increased in accordance with the provision of 'reasonable' living standards
* a universal goal to insure that working will 'always' benefit an individual
* reduce levels of absolute poverty to zero within one/two years
* DWP unfit for purpose, thorough restructuring required, respect for the individual as the cetral ethos
* re-establish the social/financial 'safety net' that was formerly accepted as the role of the state
* scrap the failed 'Universal Credit' experiment- ensure that those in need receive what they require
* a universal basic income to be trialled
* an urgent national inquiry into domestic abuse in the UK- whole raft of severest sanctions to be drawn up and implemented into the legal system as soon as is practicably possible
* most social care to be provided by the state- 'one' home and savings up to (suggested?) £100,000 protected
* the state also to pay the hidden cost of any 'reasonable' accommodation, costs that might otherwise quickly deplete all of the above- those with private resources beyond £750,000 not covered
* state pension (available) for 'all' citizens at 65/66- serious consideration given to earlier retirement age for particularly physically demanding/stressful jobs (construction work, teaching, social work, ambulance/fire service and other areas)
* Shamima Begum's citizenship restored, repatriated and tried under the British legal system- potential future role in combating 'grooming' of minors
All citizens to have a human right to shelter. All future homes to be subject to independent inspection with the aim of guaranteeing comfortable/affordable/safe living standards for all:
* a fully publicly funded social housing program to be independently devised and rolled out within the year
* all new housing to be fully protected against investment purchase, with the ultimate target of terminating all future investment procurement of any future housing stock
*all future homes to be designed to socially 'acceptable' and regulated size, insulation, heating, storage requirements- no unviable 'bedrooms,' adequate cupboard space, outdoor space or viable alternatives
* all future mortgages limited to 3.5 x one stakeholder's salary
* all future homes to be fitted with solar panels and (where feasible) other means of green energy use and savings
* program of strict building regulations- reinstatement of many of the 'corner-cutting' changes to regulations in recent years, to ensure all new homes are fit for habitation
* all private landlord rents to be registered- rents limited by law
* all unsafe/unsound social housing to be made fit for purpose within two years, at cost to the original developer wherever feasible- full access to culpable individuals' private funds to be legally pursued
* full grants to be available to modify homes for viable occupation by those living with disabilities
* NHBC 10 year newbuild guarantee deemed unfit for purpose- all future newbuilds to be guaranteed by the developer, covered via private insurance- implemented within one year
* Council taxes upon second/ multiple homes to be dramatically increased- not to be recouped via tenants rents as all rents forthwith registerable
* with regards to the ongoing national inquiry into the events which led up to and caused the Grenfell catastrophe to occur- all 'concerned' parties to be required by law to attend and bound by law to give truthful evidence, all culpable individuals and companies to be duly tried in a court of law
The carbon footprint of the fashion industriy must be regarded as immense and unsustaiable. In addition it harbours many unsound/inhuman practices, globally and nationally. The UK needs an urgent reboot of the manner in which clothing is produced, retailed and dealt with at the end of it perceived use:
* the UK must seek to drive an urgent international debate upon the whole international clothing infrastructure, with the aim of quickly reducing its human and its climatic/environmental impacts
* a national restructuring of clothing retail in the UK, with a shift in focus to increased uses and durability- fashion as a concept to be minimised, with the ultimate aim of ending current system
* recycling of 'unwanted' clothing to be greatly upscaled, with the aim of replacing many current markets
It must be recognised that not all of the farming community has served time well as the self-anointed 'guardians of the countryside.' Henceforth all environments must be fully protected and provision of safe, home-grown food optimised:
* optimisation of provision of home-grown/produced food
* heavy fines for pollution of all rivers, lands and air- backed up by a fully funded Environment Agency
* a fully funded operational Environmental Agency with a new pallet of significantly increased sanctions
* any changes to land use to be registered and bound by commitments to maintaining or improving provision for diversity of natural species
* public enquiry into the depletion of native species/habitats with view to investigating reversals wherever feasible
. termination of all forms of blood sports and activities designed to disguise such activities
* landowners to be held accountable for the environmental and wildlife actions of their workforces
. pet trade to be fully regulated, exotic pet trade terminated with 'immediate' effect
. inquiry into the serious reduction/eventual elimination of feral cat population
* badger cull to stop immediately
* farm (over)use of antibiotics to be universally appraised and severely curtailed with ultimate goal of total elimination- other means to better (regulated) 'care' of livestock investigated
* the UK will investigate all means to reducing the nation's meat consumption in order to (quickly) minimise the nation's climate impact, and wide-ranging international environmental impact(s)
* animal welfare to be always of the highest standards throughout, enforced via publicly funded welfare units
Without adequate food we are lost. The nation must henceforth work collectively to ensure that feeding everyone takes precedence over overfeeding an elite. Access to food is recognised as a human right:
* where community kitchens continue (to need) to exist they should, in the mean time, be embraced as a positive aspect of community responsibility and fully resourced as required until they (community kitchens) can be deemed to be no longer necessary
* food waste is a national disgrace. An urgent national debate/strategy to minimise food waste (notably via supermarkets), ensuring that where surpluses occur these can be instantly diverted to those most in need. No viable supermarket surpluses to be destroyed in order to falsely maintain profits
There is an urgent need for the nation's transport to fully reflect the environmental crisis and for it to be modified accordingly:
* a roll out of a universal publicly funded and integrated public transport system
* subsidised public transport such that affordability for 'everyone' becomes the priority
* all 'public' transport (railways, buses, tram services, ferries) to be brought back into public ownership
* termination of all further stages of HS2- where possible affected habitats to be returned to former status
* all yellow lines that restrict parking but do not enhance flow or better enable access to be removed from roadsides
* creation of a national strategy for car-parking and carparks, designed to serve communities and not to just generate profits for private companies- 'public' parking spaces to be taken back under public control, thus bring back vital funds to local councils- all NHS hospitals and other NHS units to be freely accessible to patrons and hospital visitors (all further exploitation of ill-health to be discontinued with immediate effect)
* a nation-wide program of road repairs to ensure that 'all' surfaces do not unduly impinge upon journeys- removal of all speed bumps, replaced by proper police enforcement measures and effective sanctions
* widescale pedestrianisation/partial pedestrianisation of routes/areas regularly populated by children- whole raft of speed enforcements
* a national program of safe cycling lanes to be rolled out, duly taking up any slack that should follow the roll out of a universal public transport system
* national conversation on means to ensuring that the UK's pavements are to be ensured safe for, and usable by, pedestrians- wide-ranging issues such as pavement-parking, scooter use, cycling on pavements, various obstructions, adjacent building works, repairs to, etc
* all petrol driven vehicles to be off the UK's roads within the current decade
. vehicle noise to be finally recognised as the awful intrusion that it is- all modified/noisy exhausts by design to be off the UK's roads within two years, appropriate sanctions to apply
With careful heed to the deteriorating crisis/state of the climate, the UK must look to re-establish the type of industrial base required of a nation in a (self-inflicted) climate crisis. All the while, and with a shared sense of international urgency, we must seek to redefine the UK's international trading 'partnerships':
* building of a new national public steel industry that operates strictly to all nationally agreed 'reductions' in carbon emissions
* urgent national disgussion upon the sourcing required of a national steel industry
* urgent national discussion upon the appropriate sourcing of any timbers sought throughout the nation- all the while adhering to new protections for all natural (and reclaimed) habitats
* in strict accordance with the above, identification and agreement upon which materials should, in future best serve the nation and the globe
It needs to be recognised that, in light of the climate crisis, the aircraft industry will need to be seriously curtailed with immediate effect:
* all recreational flights to be limited for all individuals
* recreational 'space flight' program terminated with immediate effect wherever possible- international accord to be sought
* 'carbon offsetting' to be recognised for the deceit it is and terminated with immediate effect
* private flights and ownership of aircraft to undergo independent review and to be severely curtailed accordingly, in line with all of the above
Far greater emphasis upon a holistic approach to the running of the nation's utilities. Recognition that many of the nation's wider issues are best served via an holistic approach. A far greater emphasis/recognition must placed upon the values afforded to a nation via a rich and inclusive properly funded accessible cultural sector:
* all utilities to be brought back into public ownership
* rollback of (all) covert privatisations undertaken since 1979
* rebuilding of the national Fire Service, repairing the damage done by former governments (inc. by London Mayor Johnson)- improvements and consolidations, publicly funded
* Post Office and telecommunications companies to be brought back into public ownership
* immediate universal rollout of library service- all formerl closed libraries reopened, additional new units established where required
* all drinking water to be certified continually safe for human consumption and regularly checked to ensure that this standard is maintained
* concerted drive to fix the nation's leaks
* all CEO salaries tied to the salaries of those of the company's lowest paid employee, suggest 20:1
* increased and fully backdated outstanding corporation taxes aimed to be collected within one/two years- all current loopholes closed with immediate effect
* new (proper) living wage universally rolled out, all sectors of society
Acknowledgement that remote nation building is a failed enterprise. There must be a renewed emphasis upon international diplomacy (where more urgent measures can be avoided) and upon respect for the independence of nations:
* termination of all overseas arms sales
* all nuclear arms to be decommissioned
* decommissioning of all overseas military bases
* withdrawal of all overseas military units except in accordance with United Nations Units
* sovereign status to be supported/ sought for the Palestinian peoples, occupied territories handed back by the Israeli Government
* prohibitive restrictions upon licensing of all firearms
* in its international dealings the UK should henceforth always behave in a respectful manner towards all other peoples, even where seemingly intractable issues persist- disrespectful/disdainful terms like the 'civilized world' are to be dispensed with
* the nation should do all that it can to ensure that all (Saudi) attacks upon the Yemeni people cease with immediate effect- just one example of UK's arms sales being used to horrific effect
. UK MSM must flip to questioning, rather than endorsing, the nation's overseas arms interventions
* full and open publication of all evidence showing, amongst other inconvenient facts, that 15 of the 19 9/11 perpetrators were Saudis
* personal use/ownership of drones to be made a criminal offence within one year- high street and online sales terminated with immediate effect- all remaining private drone use to be nationally licensed and registered
* UK's role in extraordinary rendition program to be properly independently investigated, legal charges (ECHR, ICC) to be pursued and nationally supported, where possible compensation sought on behalf of all (living) victims/families
* a return scheme for all personal drones to be devised within one year
. prohibitive sanctions to be levied upon all unlicensed drone owners within two years
* full publication of any/all 'evidence' linking Western/US/UK forces to the use of chemical weapons (ie. white phosphorus) in the Middle East
* urgent repair of damage done to the UK's connections to Northern Ireland (Good Friday Agreement), contritional full agreement with Ireland and the EU to be sought
* the nation must work with everyone and anyone who is able to assist with extracting/assisting desperate refugees wishing to flee the nation of Afghanistan
There should be open recognition that gambling and its pernicious tendrils have grown to become a curse upon our nation:
* online gaming sites fully regulated, all online advertising terminated
* all identified online 'gateway' games to gaming, accessible to children, and those disguised as children friendly to be terminated immediately
. gambling sponsorship and its 'visible' association with sports terminated
* a new increased tax upon gambling revenues
* all high street gambling facilities to be removed within one year
. all gambling upon sports to be restricted to the site of the activity- heavily licensed and restricted
. national lottery and spin-offs terminated
Advertising standards have slipped and advertising has consequently adopted a far too prominent and insidious role in many people's lives:
. curtailment of all advertising in its current form- advertising standards to be significantly strengthened, and all future advertising suitably modified to comply
. a reduction in the duration of advert breaks on all commercial TV channels
The nation should henceforth come to recognise the immense role that the trade unions have played in the betterment of UK society:
* full union representation at all shareholder meetings
* full tax relief on all trade union membership
* full recognition of trade unions in all workplaces
* regulated working week- maximum applied to 'all' workplaces- universal rollout (where exceptional circumstances apply generous overtime or time in lieu by agreement with trade unions and individuals)
* removal of all spyware, employed to keep tabs upon staff working from home and in the workplace- it is anyway recognised that millions of hours of unpaid overtime are routinely taken for granted every year in the UK
* Flip the current Job Centre ethos, to one which instead assists and supports job-seekers and does not look to sanction individuals- 'help' not 'judgement' * women's rights in all areas of society to be defined and supported- enforcements and full sanctions only where deemed necessary via appropriately staffed public body
* disability rights in (all practical/possible) areas of society to be defined and supported- enforcements and full sanctions (only) where deemed necessary via publicly funded body, appropriately staffed
* all disabilities henceforth to be supported (where necessary), not judged and sanctioned
* LGBT rights in all areas of society to be defined and supported- enforcements and full sanctions where deemed necessary via appropriately-staffed, publicly-funded body
The nation urgently needs to reclaim its democracy from disingenuous outside influencers. Where such activities can be recognised it is vitally important that they are brought fully into the light. Given that the Labour Party is (still) one of the UK's two major political parties it must be seen that this party is able to operate free from disingenuous outside forces. Heavy sanctions must, in future, be deployed in order to curtail this absolute corruption of our democracy:
* a boycott of all Israeli goods, in accordance with the BDS movement
* urgent international cooperation sought in demanding that the Israeli Government withdraw from all occupied territories and that all colonial settlements be withdrawn from, handed back to Palestinian families
* IHRA definition of anti-Seminism to be replaced with the Jerusalem Declaration on anti-Seminism
* a boycott of trade with any nation that deploys laws pertaining to apartheid
* immediate publication of the Forde Inquiry, currently being suppressed by the leadership of the Labour Party
* a full and proper open discussion into all of the findings of the EHRC report into anti-Seminism in the Labour Party
* it must be recognised the damage that has been done to the Labour Party and, especially, 'related' individuals, by disingenuous parties- full public exoneration and reinstatement of all those (still living) who have been victimised care of Labour's witch-hunt. Investigation into due compensation for these individuals redeemable via the perpetrators
* full national reportage such that all victims of the above may be fully and publicly exonerated- a corresponding 'reversal' for the perpetrators
* re-recognition of the decades of anti-racist public service that many victims of Labour Party/public will have brought to bear prior to being shamelessly hounded from office'
* in recognition of the above, a full similar report into anti-Seminist and Islamaphobic behaviours in the Labour Party and inside other UK political parties
* Independent investigation into the undercover activities of the British Board of Deputies (ref: 'The Lobby, parts 1, 2, 3, 4' YouTube, 'Witch Huntyoutube ,' Jackie Walker)
. an independent report into the uses of dishonest and disingenuous information during the Brexit debate, with full public disclosure- report to also investigate the airtime given to non-expert individuals/organisations (also on the BBC)- to openly disclose whether the public acted upon honest and truthful information
. a commitment to ensuring that any future recourse to a national referendum will involve presenting the nation with the full known facts and will not afford undue airtime to disigenuous/dishonest players, and will not necessarily be presented as an either-or option
* nation to be safeguarded from any attempt to reintroduce capital punishment
* independent inquiry into the alleged tampering into the 2017 General Election- report to include allegations of tampering inside Labour HQ, also the use of 'allegations' of unproven acts of anti-Seminism by several high profile current and former members of the Labour Party, by LOTO, major TV stations and 'news' outlets
* independent inquiry into the behaviours of the Jewish Chronicle, that has 28 times been found to have breached the editor's code and has had four libel defeats in the past three years- inquiry could reasonably incorporate MSM's reporting of these findings
* Julian Assange to be released with immediate effect and fully compensated for this act of illegal imprisonment- independent inquiry into whole sordid affair
* nation to 'respectfully' retire many of the 'elder statesman' figures from public life (May, Blair, Mandleson, Clarke, Straw, Mann, Hodge, Hoey, Adonis, Cameron etc, etc, etc), where they are more obstructing than enabling progress- except where they may be required give evidence or, on rare occasions, to be tried (ECJ, ICC) for past actions deemed suitably unjust/criminal. Space to be opened up for newer, progressive minds and those who will work in their better interests, who have a far greater investment in our nation's future
It should be recognised that the UK's arms trade and overseas military interventions has fuelled the surge in numbers of international refugees. The UK must, henceforth, shoulder a significant degree of resultant responsibility for this movement of people:
* an integrated national acceptance program for international refugees
* UK waters remodelled as a non-hostile environment for all political refugees
* the 'hostile' Border Force to be disbanded and reincorporated into the British Coastguard Service
* properly funded Coastguard Service to (also) ensure that all lives at sea are equally valued
. cancelation of all international debt where interest payments have exceeded the initial loan by ?%
* foreign aid raised to 1% GDP, with a view to increasing this in the near future
Respect for the nation's protocols of law and order should be embraced yet this ideal cannot, credibly, be foisted upon a population that increasingly recognises that the national police forces are becoming more often a governmental mercenary unit. Future priorities to focus upon enforcement of laws that benefit the nation's population:
* decriminalisation of many of the nation's recreational drugs
* national independent enquiry into the funding of the police force
* with regards to the above, ensure that the resultant force are full adequately funded
* national recognition of the right to gather and to 'peacefully' protest
* police force not to be employed to undermine the right to peaceful/lawful protest, with immediate effect
* proper regognition of the 'authority' of the International Criminal Courts
The country recognises that free access to all online services is now an essential cog to the optimisation of a better functioning world economy:
* free universal broadband provision
There must be an acceptance that the UK is now a multicultural/multiracial society and that the betterment of this society is neccessarily dependent upon how fully this reality is embraced. The embracement of a multiracial/multicultural society must not be permitted to in (almost) any way impinge upon the individual right to freedom of speech:
* all forms of racism and religious persecution to be legally and equally defined and racism in its entirety removed from UK society, enforced in law
* with regard to the above, freedom of expression also to be legally enshrouded in law
* full and proper inquiry into the Windrush scandal, to be traced back to those individuals and ministers who may be implicated- with consequent legal implications
* nation's current system for migration scrapped- replaced with a properly humane one. Build a welcoming country that understands and recognises some of the trauma that often generates refugees
Obviously there must be all manner of things that have been overlooked that will also need to be patched in. Heavens, I've amended this surely embryonic list many times already!
We should have started much of this in the 1970s. Once the list is started it very soon becomes even clearer what a God-awful state the nation has been reduced to!
As Greta has said, "You have stolen my dreams with your empty words!" There should be a great deal more anger! If we can only harvest it... there might yet be a smidgen of hope.
Friday, 20 August 2021
As determinedly as we chattered on, excitedly about Olympic progress, the successes, the disappointments, the grand spectacle, future medal projections, has it not begun to feel as if we are suspended within a glistening bubble of denial? The curtains are drawing back, the stage is set, a 'return to normality' stands in wait, awash with golden light! But surely, the hail upon the theatre roof doesn't normally sound quite so loud. Maybe, this time, the cast will have to work better at their projection?
Chisel-fisted, Sir Kier appears not to have noticed that the formerly more resplendent marble is now to be found only upon the floor, about his feet, sand upon the breeze! His efforts perfectly embody nothing more than an absence of hope. Rumour would have it that he 'plans' to create a whispering echo chamber... really it is silence, but not of the golden kind. Maybe he had tumbleweed in mind but those in the wings, such as Jess Phillips, do not possess such structural integrity... or worth. How many books is it now, Jess? 'Everything you need to know about politics: my life as an MP.' 'Everything?' Really? And just 'you, is it?'
So- excepting the theatrically inept- with the backdrop of undeniable climate change thundering about our ears, we tune out the white noise of Kier et al. Full circle (almost) the UK steps blindly into the Petri dish of herd immunity. With the poise of a First World War General Sajid Javid rules a neat black line through the economic casualties, abandoned to a hasty MSM historical rewrite. Oh, and a somewhat premature death!
And so, in the usual rambling manner, on to our 'theme,' which this time seeks to address the underlying narrative that has and continues to run through our nation much like the worst of aggressive of cancers. The 'narrative,' the means by which a story, factual or otherwise, may be told- if we can't narrate then how will our story, reconfigured by others, unfold? So, I seek here to delve beneath the surface, to explore the world of the 'narrative'- a curious mixture of truth, both shared and omitted, and fabrication, and thereby to ponder, ostensibly, the abuse to which the 'narrative' may be subjected. Nowhere is this essential to dignity and survival better understood than in the Occupied Lands of Palestine and by the oppressed peoples that live there. Although I was not permitted to speak this truth whilst inside the Labour Party- another worrisome abuse of the 'narrative'- or to openly speculate as to why this was so, here I may also observe the alarming power that is afforded to 'the political lobby,' factions thereof. As an outsider, I'm seeking to highlight where ongoing abuses of the 'narrative' open-up and then close-down debate, who may speak and who may be silenced, or shackled, noting the power often afforded to the Israeli Lobby, that the Jewish Chronicle, for example, is so often referenced and yet its countless legal payouts are not, how figures like Little Philip Schofield, antiques novice Fiona Bruce, numbers bod Rachael Riley et al may be news headlines when supportive of or compliment to the 'narrative' yet, should their angry words fall foul of the the public or the law courts then... nothing!
Care of a remnant democratic process, we learn that the Royal Household- symbol of all that is holy and good- has the sort of back door into parliament the likes of which we mere mortals may not even dream about! North of the border, where government suddenly appears to operate with rather less integrity than has been formally presented, we discover that a 'tiny' clause in UK democratic process looks set to further hasten our planetary demise. 'Crown Consent,' curiously hidden from public scrutiny, permits Her Royal Highness far greater access to parliamentary procedure than panto baddie, Black Rod pretends. The Guardian newspaper has learned of 67 instances, whereupon Scotland's largest landowner may continue with symbolic planetry rape to its royal-blue heart's content! In short, it has been learned that the nation's Royals have now, approaching seventy times, sought to exempt themselves from national measures that might otherwise benefit its citizens, environmental issues, climate concerns, such like. The manner in which this information has come to light suggests that Royal evasion of the UK's meagre planetary conservation measures has been procured via 'persuasion' of Scottish Government but, given the urgency of our plight, we are left to surely conclude that it is far more likely that feudalism continues unchecked with its jolly rein! Quelle surprise! hardly covers it.
Sticking, for the moment, with the Royals because our next port of call also touches upon this esteemed family's social standing and value-hierarchy, on to William, who recently appeared to have reclaimed something of the high ground when he spoke out so passionately about mental health and well-being. Undoubtedly the topic is one of utmost urgency and scale! Those like Piers Morgan may wish to pick at the scab's raw edges but few can seriously question the need for the UK and other more affluent nations to address the festering sore that is its nation's mental wellbeing, or more so the lack thereof.
At the Royal nod our journos compliantly grasped the issue as if it had always been at the forefront of their thoughts. MPs embraced the topic as if with genuine intent, although most subtly wishing to deflect away from requisite 'adequate funding.' Celebs, as is their wont, jostled for airtime! Please accept that, for the purposes of this short jotting, I have necessarily truncated the spread of reportage. Please note also, for the purposes of contextualisation, that it must be noted that, formally, the MSM trend has been to downplay decades of spiralling self-harm and suicides across many sections of our disparate society. Whatever else, maybe William has helped to tip the balance towards greater discussion.
Even so, William's role, I am going to suggest, has employed more than a significant slice of subterfuge. Key to this 'slice' is the UK's heavy reliance upon property ownership and, more specifically, landlordship. As one of the UK's more wealthy landlords it is most unlikely that the Royals will wish to shine too bright a light upon issues of insecure tenure. In their corporate role, and with the well-honed voice of the landlord, it has never really been within the journos remit to do so. As a workplace of numerous major investors in this practice neither has it featured unmolested within the Commons. Thus the trend continues to be, 'more houses for landlord investment,' absolutely, 'secure and affordable social tenancies,' absolutely not!
Think it, say it, shout it, and often, from the rooftops! 'We could greatly improve the nation's mental wellbeing through the creation of affordable homes, and via secure affordable tenancies!' Instead, our landlord classes seem to be increasingly impressed with the stacked shoeboxes Asian model.
For those paying closer attention, specifically when it seemed likely that a democratic party might for once actually come to serve in The Commons, or (even briefly) within the shores of The United States, we should understand that proper access to the 'narrative' is of paramount importance, more so to those who wish to replace 'inconvenient' fact with confected fiction. Behind a media smokescreen of weaponised anti-Semitism the UK narrative has now effectively been wrest free from democratic control, perhaps more so than at any time in living memory, bobbing weakly in the US slipstream. It is of absolutely no coincidence that Israeli Government, operating now as an unashamedly apartheid state, is also shown to hold far more than its fair share of influence within those two foreign shores. Searching through non-corporate news we can ascertain that Israel is very much a nation which 'demonstrably' operates a very violent grasp upon the narrative. Further more, and care of organisations such as AIPAC and the Jewish Chronicle, the nation demonstrates a fanatical obsession with the wider perspective! Join those dots, Mr Peston, go on Ms Kuennsberg, Commons retweeters par excellence! Pretend to be actual journalists for a short stint! Taste the freedom!
Which brings us 'neatly' round to two perfect examples of the awfulness of the 'controlled narrative,' where it does not best serve, in actuality, even the commentator. Both examples demonstrate a highly distasteful consequence of the abuse of the narrative. And both serve to highlight the sorry state of affairs that occurs, all too frequently, within a media that is neither properly accountable nor, in any manner, beneficial to a healthy democracy. First, we should take a peek into the life of Times 'journo' Giles Corren, demonstrably the least talented of his set!
Mr Corren was very recently given to post a particularly unpleasant comment about the infinitely superior Dawn Foster. Now Dawn, having recently sadly died as a consequence of a long-standing illness, was unable to reply. Mr Corren stated that he was glad that she had died, I believe he even went so far as to type, 'HA HA HA!' Dawn's perceived 'crime' was to have accurately noted that Mr Corren's easy ride to prominence has been by virtue of having a funnier, cleverer, more talented father. Fair point! No doubt, most individuals who are even aware of his 'work' will have swiftly concurred. No debate! In many respects, given the awful quagmire that is so much of social media, (almost) neither is his ill-choice of words- that is to say 'worthy of debate.' So, my point is more the issue of an initial reluctance on the part of the MSM to confront Mr Corren's comments, or even to acknowledge his ill-conceived words.
When Giles's comment duly drew greater attention, as G.C. had intended, from individuals more appreciative of former top journalist Dawn Foster's work, some of whom then decided to demonstrate their distaste for G.C.'s commentary upon his property, that was the point at which our glorious MSM- feeding frenzy primed- chose to respond. Up until that moment their ranks had effectively closed upon the 'crime,' typically reluctant to crawl to the defence of one deceased left-winger at the expense of a fellow corporateist right-winger. Party to the narrative is also the selective absence of reporting- I believe it's termed, 'unplatforming.' The practice has become routine within the inner echelons of the UK's MSM; it's an act of the utmost verbal contortion that the term has been so swiftly weaponised and added to the UK's MSM arsenal.
My second offering of misplaced self-worth, cloaked within that trusty halo of 'assumed narrative,' comes to light care of one Chris Bryant MP. Mr Bryant, shielding behind the misnomer of 'Labour' MP, I would argue, demonstrated an altogether greater incidence of arrogance borne of assumed narrative control. Posting entirely as one of Starmer's vacuous anti-socialist operatives, Mr Bryant was hoping to spread the anti-democratic net ever wider by 'commenting' upon Peru's newly elected President Castillo. Using all of that New Labour integrity that he'd accumulated, Mr Bryant pretended concern that the Peruvian people should have to choose from two such discreditable candidates, lumping the new president together with a proven and documented criminal. Again, to contextualise the situation, I should here point out that Peruvian President Pedro Castillo is a trade unionist, looking to improve the lot of the working electorate in his country, the defeated presidential candidate having been the corrupt daughter of the corrupt former president, one Keiko Fujimori. It must be hoped that the Fujimori family can now be brought to justice, so that the immense scale of their corruption may be more widely known about.
In the ensuing 'conversation,' Mr Bryant, clearly having overlooked the fact that Chile's Salvador Allende was a twice democratically elected socialist, boasted about his own South American credentials and connections. In current UK political mode, perhaps, Mr Bryant again assumed an absence of accurate historical recall on the part of any recipient to his commentary. It was therefore doubly unfortunate that there remains clear record of Mr Chris Bryant palling up to Colombian mass-assassin Alvaro Uribe, thus reminding the readers of yet more obscene UK overseas military involvement, care of international war criminal Tony Blair. Empty vessel Bryant proceeded to draw fire from those who, unfortunately for him, fully recollected New Labour involvement with Mario Montoya, various Colombian death squads and the consequent mass disappearances of Colombian citizens. Good business was it, eh Mr Bryant?
Imagine, for a moment, how 'our' non-accountable MSM would have exploited such information if it had happened under a democratic-socialist government! Compare and contrast the vacuum that has accompanied Mr Bryant's abuse of the assumed narrative. I would bet that Mr Bryant's latest 'unfortunate' tirade remains unknown to the vast majority of UK citizens.
Contrastingly, and at the other end of the moral divide, Labour MP Dawn Butler has just played out the consequences of having almost no control of the narrative, despite demonstrating an absolute grasp and control of the truth. On the 22nd July 2021 Dawn Butler MP stood in the Commons to call out (mis)serving PM Johnson's appalling grasp upon honesty. Dawn revisited and listed many of PM Johnson's well-documented lies- all of which can be verified- yet she was then told to retract or to nullify her words, according to current parliamentary protocols. Thus, concerned citizens of the UK have been 'treated' to the bizarre spectacle of Prime Ministerial repeated lies, whereby thousands of its citizens have had lives cut short, being prioritised over absolute truth! Thus, the corruption of the narrative can now be observed to be so extreme as to no longer require even the most basic of disguises. At which point contemplation as to quite which spin on reality is playing out in the skulls of those such as Baron Austin of Dudley, Dame Margaret Hodge, Baron Mann- please note, all flowery 'Barons' and 'Dames' no less (no more!)- evades all credibility! That an ice-cream producer (Ben and Jerry's), albeit an anti-Semitic one in the 'minds' of those listed above, might illicit a more positive reaction than the entire Opposition Front Bench surely belies belief! Such is the current abuse of Palestinian rights within the Occupied Territories that even the Guardian newspaper finds itself politically compromised.
Of course, honest and open reporting of the actual facts lies heavily dependant upon the freedom of the journalist so to do. Here we must recall the oft-echoed narrative of 'the UK's 'free' press, and then juxtapose this with that same term's implied message of 'freedom to honestly report' and we should take note of the discrepancies. Peter Oborne is a long-time 'journalist' who in the past has worked for several highly dubious publications- The Spectator, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph- where the living was 'comfortable,' yet he has latterly opted to cut himself adrift in the far more honourable pursuit of actual journalism in order to seek out actual truths! Peter's leap from comfortable dishonour and into that of a more precarious honesty is not unheard of yet runs somewhat against the grain. He often talks about having been driven, in large part, through his disillusionment with successive Conservative Government refusal to either acknowledge or to call out Israeli war crimes against an occupied Palestinian People. Maybe he has found honesty to be rather liberating because his latest book offering- 'The Assault on Truth'- has sought to stitch together the lie-athon that is Boris Johnson's life (or rather 'lief'). Where the publication has even been acknowledged, in amongst the pages of selective reporting and half-truths, of the UK's sorry MSM, Peter Oborne is referred to as a man who has "kept all of the receipts." The label is used to imply bitterness or grudge-bearing intent, but should instead be read by those seeking the higher ground as 'speaking truth to power.'
So, control of the narrative is increasingly seen as an essential in modern-day politics and those governments who have more ravenously grasped this 'inconvenience,' and with the greater zeal, can be observed to have gained significantly the upper hand in their share of regional or global power. Yet any positive parallels that may be drawn between this control and honour should be seen to be effectively non-existent! Observe and note that those journalists who are most frequently afforded any role in conveying the chosen narrative may now, quite openly, be identified as amongst the profession's most compromised individuals- Chomsky explained it most eloquently to a bemused Andrew Marr, over twenty years ago, way back on 14th February 1996.
The recent horrifying IPCC report, on the ongoing climate crisis, drawing the most direct parallels yet between an elitist greed and runaway global warming, is currently still just too hot for moulding to the 'desired' narrative, yet we should be in no doubt that selected script writers are hard at work to that effect, behind the scenes, soon to be back in the driving seat, narrating us headlong into that shared catastrophic finale! Step into the breach antiques novice Fiona Bruce, to head the Newsnight response, field the questions for the BBC. As the situation's quite so dire why not- over the heads of thousands of scientific minds- see what Boris's dad has to say? The foundations are already laid! Deep inhale, hold it, wait to see how Patel's Mercenary Police Force are instructed to take on Extinction Rebellion's, BLM's or any other such organisation's next protest. In which context, it should be noted also that the UK's largest Press Office by far is that of the UK's Police Force. No Officers on hand to deal with spiralling burglaries but just try and organise a peaceful vigil for a woman who's just been murdered by one of those Officers! Surely this can't be one and the same Police Force!, you query No wonder they need all those Press 'Moguls!'
If all of this has seemed a touch over dramatic perhaps we should take check and feed in also a little positive info? It's only a rumour though. So, keep it under the old hat! I hear from a thoroghly reliable source at the Spectator, or was it the Telegraph, the Mail? Anyway, whatever. Everybody's favourite hippy icon, Sir Richard Branson, space explorer and purveyor of environmental insightfulness, is whispered to have had this great idea for those final gasping breaths. The twenty-four carat platinum grin of the great God himself, beaming down from the globe's largest ever cloud projection, mouthing a cheery goodbye! Warmed me, just a little... Waste of precious resources, my derriere!
'Win the Future,' WTF!
Tuesday, 20 July 2021
Thinking is clouded, actions ill-conceived. There's a deal of talk about the new boy in town. Perhaps the whole country is under his spell? Or else he runs through it like some sort of uncharted river.
Another upstart, obviously and ideally it would be better all round if we simply pretended that he did not exist, much as we attempted to do with cousin Long Covid. But he's been around a while now, gathering in his host of 'disciples,' establishing his boundaries! Dare we hope he's toilet trained, because something's beginning to hum? Damn him, he's got one hand on the wheel! Whisper it... 'the whole country is suffering from Long Brexit!'
Sadly, and with monotonous regularity, once and once again, our chums in government have been found wanting! It must come as little surprise to find them again floundering, woefully beyond salvation! Bloated with disinterest and incompetence, pockets bulging! But to many still it comes as a surprise, indeed so surprising do they find it that even the merest concept cannot be properly comprehended. Imagine, one knows they are self-serving through misappropriation of the facts, yet one is again and again reassured that they are not. Is it that one so wants to believe, or is it that one is endlessly deceived into doing so? Or is it that one is afraid to think independently, or to dare believe what one, deep down in the gut, has long since secretly known to be irrefutable? When did so very many take their eyes off the ball? Or have we travelled the more scenic route?
In too many ways now has this become not unlike resorting to plugging one's ears and loudly humming? 'The king is not naked, the king is not naked! The smell is of roses!'
Picking through the debris it can be difficult to piece together all the parts. Perhaps it is no longer possible- by design- to reliably apportion each action to its consequences. Rather like a battlefield, we cannot be sure which tank breached which defences first, which wrought the greater carnage. Maybe it is a book deal in the waiting? Undoubtedly, the closer that 'abomination' may, through slight of fact, be painted instead as 'honour' the more tainted it becomes. But, what if there never was any honour in the first instance? Where then, far beyond sight of salvation, may we again search it out?
Quite when was pretence at honour first sacrificed upon the alter of avarice? Research the governmental timeline- jot down one's findings upon an AO sheet (write small!) and the bubble diagram 'blooms' like bacteria- prorogation of parliament is quickly subsumed, swamped under weight of countless other historical misdeeds! The process appears terrifyingly organic, yet it is not. Not so much dead-ends as 'gated' driveways?
"It is what it is!" a neighbour shrugged. "Who could have done better?" an inlaw deflected. Such muddled thinking! Orwell would have had a field day! Yet, still it should be fiercely confronted at every turn. There are the facts, and then there are the words that the corporate editors- self censoring according to practised rote- have rearranged upon the page, figurative or otherwise. "It's not!," and, without hesitation "Anyone!" we must retort.
Juxtapose fiction with fact. Search behind the shiny slogans. 'Levelling Up?' And quite how will this act be cutting through to the gig economy? How will 'Levelling Up' balance food and rent, upon £8.91 an hour? How will it calculate Universal Credit against the manipulated-market-rate for a private leaky-roof over one's head?
'Take back control!' came the war cry! Who better suited to have weaponised the salty waters of the island state than Michael Gove, but did we? Did we, take back control? Quite how are those fishermen and fisherwomen now celebrating this (well, it's not even a pyrrhic) victory? Wonder instead, what the environmentalists and the oceanographers (those discarded 'experts!') thought, watching the BBC et al hosting Fiona-Bruce-'balanced' 'discussions' upon whether every one of those idle trawlers should once again be sent forth to plunder the waves? Since when has democracy best been served by setting angry-Cons against informed environmentalists, before a conservative (with a small 'c') audience? Is one permitted to question whether it might be better for everyone, in the long run, if, in future, experts are invited to relay their scientific rationale? For Christ's sake don't reduce it to some sort of public voting panel game! "The people of this country have had enough of experts." Mr Gove pouted. He and his ilk have been packing in their alternatives ever since. We know that, when the wind is at its fairest, still their best remains abysmal, yet we're being encouraged to get behind 'our team!' If only we'd slowed down for long enough to reason that simply scouring the ocean floors, over ever wider terrain, really wasn't going to offer any sort of viable future! The oceans have moved on... on rather they haven't!
Watch the ministers (or their spokespeople) pick off the betrayed one at a time, behind a Daily Mail screen of rustling headlines. 'Divide and rule' is the general rule of thumb but can we now depend upon the fishing industries to again, and quite so soon, fall obediently into line behind this expertise-averse government? If the corporate MSM lead the march will the populace, sleepily nod through the Australian Trade Deal, pocket the 52p per person along with a 'healthy' ingestion of previously-banned farming antibiotics and turn a blind eye to a regression to greater animal suffering? "A cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years!" straight from the mouth of Honest-John Johnson. The NFU and British farmers- Guardians (not) of the Countryside- are said to be unhappy! Really, you could not make it up! My ememy's enemy is my friend? Are we now reduced to such pitifully slender pickings?
Oh, and apparently we are going to miss those overseas workers after all. Oops! Never mind, eh? If we can forget £350 million a week I'm sure we can overlook this trifling inexpert miscalculation. Thank the lord above that we've grasped back control from those overbearing EU bureaucrats, and their Working-Time Directive mumbo-jumbo! It's nothing really. Nothing, when compared to 350,000,000, merely an additional 100,000! A tiny fraction, but it also happens to be the same small total of haulage drivers the UK now finds itself short of 'getting back to normal!' Praise be to the inexperts! Perhaps that's why we so needed to shake ourselves free of the EU. Working unencumbered, we can simply mark our own mathematics, to "Give drivers and operators flexibility" to lengthen the working day from 9 to 10 hours. Solved! Temporarily, of course, we are encouraged to understand. As needs must! Temporarily, of course.
Far be it for me to again whisper, "Wasn't it this sort of corner cutting that enabled the country to house more than 600,000 people in unsafe tower blocks?" The Labour Party has compliantly estimated this figure to be 56,000 which, far from reassuring the public, should instead throw up the implication that we haven't got the first clue as to how many individuals are affected! Hardly a First World Problem, is it?
Lining up all the little duckies, the fishermen, the farmers, the haulage drivers... Martin Niemoller put it so eloquently when he penned, 'First they came for the socialists...' Hints at Sir Kier's (not so) Labour Party, maybe?
Imagine the accumulated bodies, piled so very high, select a suitably sweltering wave of sunshine, preferably adjacent to a site of outstanding natural beauty- a river bank- so as to attract the more abhorrent species, humanity excluded for once. Nurture that stench! Had corporate media set its sights upon exercising some of that oft-lauded 'freedom,' and rather fewer column inches upon 'diligent house keeping,' just maybe the waft of such self-serving corruption and distain might then have blighted such dishonourable goals. But it didn't! Nor will it, or can it, in its present form. Imagine the corruption that might blossom in such a climate! "Ladies and gentlemen, I give you..." If one was charged with compiling a cabal, so driven as to hasten the planet onward to its death, then cast your eyes around the globe! Compare and contrast! ... and then weep!
Whilst Global (Little) Britain festers, uninterruptedly sewing a most abhorrent toxicity- countless £millions so that Israel may 'Build a New Apartheid!' (B'tselem, Israeli Center for Human Rights)- or sending forth its winged horse (Pegasus) to educate the dissenters, why not also reduce (I dunno) foreign aid? Only temporarily, you must again understand. Only temporarily!
I wonder if the planet finally is actually dying upon 'our watch,' humanity's part therein and henceforth? Or if it has been hastened in that direction, upon 'our watch?' Displaced by the pointless panel shows, its demise might just as well be playing out in an unlit backroom cupboard. Of course, it is irrefutably somewhat of an inconvenience, it is going to get to the point where even the mind-numbingly gullible are going to start to notice that something's afoot! Shuffle those carbon-offset cards yet again, see if we can't flatter to deceive. Ask Fiona, ask Emma, ask Andrew Neil, get another of Rupert's hacks to deflect, why don't we?
The Guardian- Britain's leading Liberal newspaper (ha ha!)- tends to shed those journalist who speak out of turn. Observe- although not so much care of the Observer anymore- former heroic colleague Julian Assange cast out towards the US nets. Not unsurprisingly the untethered journalism's- those still free to operate- significantly better, significantly, but the outlets tend to be less lauded by the rest of the corporate MSM. Whatever could be happening there? Why, it's almost as if those awkward facts are suddenly somewhat inconvenient. Again (I dunno) maybe we could ask someone like Baron Walney (John Woodcock)- 'Independent' Advisor on Political Violence and Disruption- to dig around for a bit of balance? Independent, please note! Independent, of course he is! Whatever was I thinking there? Go on, John, you put that Greta Thunberg back in her box! And those damn Marxists at Extinction Rebellion, Amnesty and BLM! Do we think these types've even bothered to appreciate the logistics involved with getting all those manual workers affordably across the Atlantic? Raise another glass, another statue to our 'proud' colonial past! Another flying horse required? Only countries with impeccable human rights records need apply- and who better to draw that line? Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!
Whisper it again?, "Search out Jonathan Cook, Nathan J Robinson (not the Australian one), Dawn Foster (RIP), Nafeez Ahmed- check their thoughts on the efficacy of the Guardian, the UK's single remaining Liberal Newspaper, err...
Meanwhile, it is being argued that the Amazon Rainforest- once thought to be the lungs of the planet- afire care of Bolsanaro, is now emitting more Co2 than it is absorbing. But, if we can just align enough of those solar-fans, so that COP26 can see their ways to the table, maybe we can pluck another future date from the never-never calendar, offset some of that rising smoke. It would be decidedly unsporting if the Globe didn't at least acknowledge humanity's ingenuity. Damned unsporting if it didn't at least wait until after the projected dates!
Shh! Shh! just so that the adults may concentrate whilst dividing up our depleted resources. Whisper it again, "Regulation of the UK's waterways has been cut deep into the bone!" So often, though corporate editors dutifully seek to distract, we are surely obligated to, at the very least, attempt to observe the winding course. And, if it should come to light, it should still concern us that such a vital resource as water now finds itself almost denuded of regulation. 'Build back better!' barked from the podium, sent forth to dazzle. Oh look, another slogan! Nightclubs, you say? Party, party!
So, 'Building Back (so much) Better!' almost silently so as not to alarm, those rivers are now, often, conveyors of raw sewage- thousands upon thousands of illegal 'spills transforming that holy landscape. That it barely appears to warrant mention should concern us, should perhaps concern us more than the fact of its perpetual re-enactment! On one hand we have the inalienable truth that our rivers run through our fibre like a lifeblood yet, upon our watch, so too now can an excess of excrement! Search, because it does not warrant mention in any governmental slogan- and we learn that the Environment Agency has had its funding slashed by two-thirds. And, along this quieter waterway, we learn also that, under the radar, 100% of the UK's rivers have silently and swiftly acquired the designation, 'polluted!' Search further and watch the target dates for addressing the issues slide about on the never-ending calendar, care of Honest John Johnson.
Bright lights, fireworks, 'breaking!' care of the BBC et all, 'Southern Water has been fined £90 million!' Shut up! The old chestnut, self regulation, we are invited to conclude, is working just fine, after all, albeit nearly six years in arrears, just eight-and-a-half thousand discharges too late. The system 'works,' somewhat rustily, we are misinformed. But, turn one more stone and the greater (and truer) truth reveals that still corporate water manages to evade the yet greater charges (and fines) of, and for, failing to meet "'strict' (sic) standards on discharging water." Why should we not conclude that it has not been, all along, business as usual, basic policy?
Where's BBC Laura (parliamentary re-tweeter par excellence!) when her country needs her- hint: that's not really why she's there- surely not off hob-nobbing with alternative managerial material? "Meet the new boss Same as the old boss," sort of thing? Are we being 'fooled (yet and yet) again?' Those prepared to accept, even seeking refuge behind, absolute vacuity must have been almost replete when New Labour's Margaret Beckett actually uttered the approximation, "Kier wants Britain to be the very best country it can be," when queried for just the tiniest smidgen of policy. The precise wording is not worthy of a search and so I have not bothered, likely the BBC! Perhaps Laura (parliamentary re-tweeter par excellence!) has got some ideas? Perhaps we should be told which of our politicians has aspirations for a 'worse Britain!' Something to share with the grandchildren, Margaret?
Shocker! don't you think? All those illegal sewage discharges? One wonders why the NFU and the farmers- guardians of the countryside?- haven't made more of a fuss. Another stone turned and we learn that that's because they're actually even worse! Feigned shock! In fact, so bad is farming's contribution (it has to be 'ironic,' right?) to the annihilation of England's green and pleasant land that the stones (desperate to be turned) are not even there to be found! On average factory chicken or cattle farms can now 'expect' to be inspected just once every 280 years! Imagine the run-off that might accumulate in such a timeframe. So, phosphates too, running through Little Britain's bloodlines. Prosecutions to date numbering at precisely zero! Such is the state of affairs, under those noble guardians, that, thanks to current non-regulation, in excess of 40'000 factory farms no longer even require a permit. Levelling which way? Building back how?
Or we could (very) simply just shut up and let Little Philip ask the awkward questions... Go on, then Phil... Go on... Any thoughts, Eamonn? Really, it's only through the diligence of concerned bathers and other citizens that this trifling amount is known, although still not actually widely shared. Additionally there are the 'acute' instances, the one-offs. Of course, funding at 66% down, should anyone even bother to note the countless fish, belly-up at the surface, a curious stench wafting across the landscape, by the time the Environment Agency's pencilled in a visit the source is likely in the clear. Not me, guv! Well, at least we've brought something down, even if it is only the rivers' oxygen levels! Little acorns and all that...
Maybe, just maybe- or definitely, - it's time we re-jigged this broken system, so that journalists are able to operate free from corporate editorial-mandate? Give some heft to the much banded about term, 'Free Press!' Ever considered that it doesn't really mean 'Free Press?' It actually means entirely the opposite, 'Owned Press!' Free to be owned! And boy, is it ever? Whilst bigging up those fictitious revolutionary threats it appears we've been conned into misdiagnosing far, far too much for any nation with aspirations of grandeur!
Just a final thought: If Home Secretary Patel is so intent upon 'redirecting' all those refugees (which the UK absolutely had no part whatsoever in creating, honest guv) what rights, if any, do they have, regarding drowning in unpolluted waters? A future judgement for the European Court of Human Rights, or will we again be hoping to make our own rules, Mr Gove?
Monday, 5 July 2021
"In wartime truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies." Winston Churchill
Undoubtedly the numbers of truly worthy blogs, in stark opposition to those that can so easily be dismissed or ignored altogether, is vanishingly few. And I would definitely number my own amongst the latter category. That is not to entirely dismiss my ideology, arguments or observations, instead perhaps merely to acknowledge that others have said it better or in a more entertaining fashion. At best these posts occupy a space, or whatever substitutes for actual space, in the global cybersphere.
For months at a time I have, with intent, abandoned my ramblings. Sharing, or perhaps offering up, one's thoughts in such a fashion, if noted at all, can all too easily invite or invoke such burning rage! This is not my intent.
So, instead, I have opted to regard these scratchings more as notes to self, essays if you will. If chanced upon by others then so be it. I like to see a thought process laid bare and here are some of mine, I could whisper into the aether. Maybe, at some point I will meander back through the months or years. Maybe, if an offering offends or concerns me I may delete it. If an error leaps at me I may amend accordingly. If amendments are of significant note I may tag them in the comments.
Of course, and referring back specifically, to the gist of the opening paragraph, I would still argue that my arguments are both better researched than are many (so termed) mainstream (alleged) journalists, and that they are a great deal more honest. Therefore they stand as less subservient to self-censorship.
Upon which note, and yet again, I felt compelled to record a troubling trail of thought. But first to observe that, still in the midst of this global pandemic- Indonesia 27,000 new cases, 555 deaths, Colombia 26,000 new cases, 582 deaths, India 40,000 new cases, 743 deaths- so short is the collective UK memory that humanity, nation ever peculiar to 'nation,' it seems has already re-reverted to its spoilt-child-like former-natural-state. As evidence I offer just two from countless examples.
First, and in the stark light of the fact that well over 160,000 arguably-avoidable deaths have been wrought upon the UK, I would cite instances of the worst of youthful driving! Within months of our rested streets having been filled with clapping, cheering appreciation for the sacrifices made upon our behalf, again it is as if our globe is not quite deep enough in crises- global warming, deforestation, overfishing, pollution. Whether it be noise by design, speed, tailgating, showboating, it is as if the pandemic has completely bypassed their neural receptors. Perhaps it has! How so? Thankfully such infantile minds do not hold sway over the running of nations, except to consider...
My second choice of example rather contradicts this, because money talks, it buys influence, and influence begets power! Yet sadly none of these things negates the infantile mind, instead, all too frequently, opening doors! So, on to Mr Branson, he of Virgin Records and those Covid handout pleas. Joyfully bounding back from his months of dejected poverty upon his Caribbean island retreat, Mr Branson has announced to a largely disinterested globe that he believes he is now set to just about pip Jeff Bezos into (not quite) 'space.' At approximately 55 miles he will spend minutes gazing down to realise that, "If you see Earth from space it changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity..." Of those who will even care or be aware few will be holding their breath for any sort of enlightenment! We have already learned that such egocentricism requires no rationale beyond the 'self,' no humanity, no purposeful comprehension.
Speed? Showboating? Noise? Egocentricity? Compare and contrast examples one and two! Imagine, if the world was run by these wealthy egocentrics!
Behind the bedroom door the indulged child rules his roost- he has snatched back control!- nobody may question his choices, let no-one doubt 'his' selected decore. He may change his mind at a whim. Here he is king! The plastic troops are suitably aligned; which one shall he select, the one with the roundest head, the most rotund arse, the most vacuous smile, the one whose practiced underbite may sever an infant's outstretched arm?
Little Jack Horner,
He sat in a corner,
Eating his Christmas pie.
Maybe downstairs, where the 'adults' still reside- the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, the head of defence procurement- conversation and maybe even the odd rare fact is of little consequence. If he so chose he could squeak open the door and eavesdrop upon the wider world but it bores him so. He plucks the toy with the roundest head. If he blows into the hole where its right ear should be he can sometimes illicit a curious whistle; it sounds like nothing so much as utter, utter despair. He frowns into the painted smile and imagines what it will say.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
If he closes his eyes, untucks his shirt and sucks upon his overly long tie, the words are almost credible, thoroughly convincing. If he omits the stutters and the blather, the misdirected and inappropriate joking (not really humour as such), the message, to him, sounds statesmanly, almost Churchillian! Should the embarrassing subterfuge escape and take flight it will, in reality, sound not unlike an awkward schoolboy, reading nasally from the smudged notes of an idiot accomplice, jarring and wooden! Unconvincing, even to the speaker.
Who killed Cock Robin?
"I spent my first day as Health Secretary, just yesterday, looking at the data and testing it to the limit... (What, the same data that the adults- some of them- have sought to employ?) we know we cannot simply eliminate it, we have to learn to live with it... (Or, conceivably, to die from it?) the restrictions on our freedoms, they must come to an end... with the numbers heading in the right direction... (Which numbers, the real ones? Or the 28 day 'adjustment?') keep on our roadmap to freedom, so that we can build back better... (And, throw in that meaningless three word slogan!) It is a task that I am deeply honoured to lead!" And, cut! Perfect! That's a wrap!
Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity.
Better! The previous toy is now discarded; maybe, the CCTV footage could generate revenue as an advertisement for mouthwash? The god awful mess left behind echoes, far too closely, that which he may have caused in his own past... more than once, or twice, counting... Still, it's not real, life on the other side of the door, if he gets bored again he can simply leave the room for nanny to tidy.
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.
The adults ask, pretend, "Who could have done any better?" The grownups have asked the question with the requisite sensitivity (and omissions). If only there was some way in which others could be prevented from asking the same question with or without omissions? Any ideas, Rupert?
Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Is he sulking, hard to be sure, he's refused to come down for too many house meetings to count! It's not as if important people are dying, is it? Ruffled hair bends over a hastily conceived (suitably underfunded) project- crayon clutched tightly in a bulbous fist.
National Thank You Day! Ahh! Brilliant!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
Just so long as we keep on pretending to ourselves, that there is a cigarette paper of separation, one day it'll all be someone else's (far greater) problem!
Sajid Javid studied economics- not medicine or health or epidemiology or virology- at Exeter, of course he did.